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The L-word: queer identifikation och mediereception
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
2008 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, no 3-4, p. 115-137Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The L-word is said to be the first commercial television drama that is narratively centered on lesbian characters. How is a queer audience, in this case eighteen lesbian, bisexual or queer identified Swedish women, interpreting a homonormative mainstream media text? This article aims to read the representation and reception of The L-word against freudian psychoanalysis and spectatorship theory's splitting of identification and desire and a queer critique of these. It also discusses the lesbian sex scenes in the series through some viewers interpretations of them. In focus group interviews, viewers are identifying, counteridentifying, but mainly disidentifying with the text's construction of lesbian identity. The theoretical concept disidentification is borrowed from José Esteban Muñoz, which is something in between identification and counteridentification, where subjects can enjoy but still not completely "buy" the media text and its offered identities at large, in an ironic negotiated reading. The main aspects that viewers are not identifying with are class positions (upper middle class) and the glamourous surroundings and characters (not seen as typical for lesbians), something they saw as linked to "american-ness" and US commercial TV. But before the viewing of the televised text, an earlier identification with lesbianism is made, even among the two heterosexually (but also somewhat queer) identified interviewees. Interviewees choose to identify with different characters, or more commonly, situations, and these identifications were changing. A heterosexually identified interviewee, Ida, both identified, admired and desired the character Shane, something that puts the splitting of desire and identification into question. My analyzis further shows that there are multiple wiewing positions among the eighteen interviewees. This is particularly true for the sex scenes, where different viewers see the same scene as great, "hot", uninteresting, based on a male gaze and heterosexual norms, or even as violent.

Abstract [sv]

Hur tolkar en queer publik en homonormativ medietext? Martina Ladendorf analyserar hur några tittare identifierar sig med och förhåller sig till teveserien L-words representationer av lesbiska sexuella akter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. no 3-4, p. 115-137
National Category
Communication Studies
Research subject
Media and Communication Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-13683Local ID: cf3b59a0-9b5d-11dd-94de-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-13683DiVA, id: diva2:986636
Note

Validerad; 2008; 20081016 (marlad)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Other links

http://hdl.handle.net/2043/9621

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Ladendorf, Martina

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